Lupita Nyong’o proved earlier this year in Us that she can do horror and comedy with the best of them and those skills are going to serve her well in the upcoming indie horror comedy Little Monsters. While the world may not need ANOTHER zombie movie—especially with Zombieland 2 on the horizon—this one looks like a silly enough conceit to work.
Nyong’o plays a kindergarten teacher chaperoning a field trip when, oops, zombies attack the petting zoo or whatever. If I feel a tad over all of this, it’s likely because I watched Jim Jarmusch’s The Dead Don’t Die last night and it was awful. The zombie thing is over, it’s been done to death and there’s no more “social commentary” left to infuse these stories with, it has literally all been done better elsewhere at this point.
Speaking of things I’m over, I haven’t even mentioned the obnoxious Josh Gad showing up to do his Josh Gad thing. I get that people like him, but it’s physically impossible to shove him further down the throats of those who can’t stand him. Take a vacation Josh, you could use one.
Little Monsters gets a very limited theatrical engagement beginning October 8, before moving to its permanent home on Hulu October 11.
The Blaxploitation movement was a many-tiered genre with some great films, some terrible films, and some films so terrible, they achieved their own brand of greatness. Among the best films in that third tier are Rudy Ray Moore’s four starring vehicles as Dolemite*, a kung-fu fighting pimp cum comedian. Moore is now getting the biopic treatment, chronicling his rise to stardom, via the Netflix Original Film Dolemite is My Name.
Eddie Murphy stars as Rudy Ray Moore, in what might be his most perfectly cast role since Bowfinger. True, he doesn’t really look like Moore, but he’s one of the best mimics around and as this trailer shows, he is fully embodying the spirit of the Blaxploitation legend. The film also features a damn good supporting cast including Keegan Michael Key, Craig Robinson, Mike Epps, Luenell, Tituss Burgess, and Wesley Snipes as D’Urville Martin, the man who would direct Moore’s feature debut.
If you’ve never seen a Rudy Ray Moore film, the time is now to get on the bandwagon. Hopefully this flick will ignite a renewed interest in his films, and hopefully Netflix is smart enough to put at least the first four on their streaming service to coincide with this film’s release. Dolemite is My Name will premiere at next month’s Toronto International Film Festival, before making its way to select theaters and Netflix this fall.
*Technically only Dolemite and The Human Tornado feature the character Dolemite, but Petey Wheatstraw and Disco Godfather might as well be Dolemite movies.
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Funnyman Whitney Cummings is taking the Chelsea Handler approach to comedy by stirring up laughs with her amazing body. Handler has a way of working in her big hot breasts into her schtick, and Cummings seems equally proud of what the good Lord and plenty of hours logged at the gym gave her. In some recent Insta snaps, she manages to show off her smooth buns and great figure while also giving us something to chuckle about. Her one-piece is printed with an overweight hairy many’s body. The result is funny. For sure. But this is no laughing matter. The thirty-six-year-old Whitney is one smoking hot piece of azz, and now all I want to do is see her T&A IRL. Let us know if Whitney makes you Cummings in your pants in the comments…
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2009’s Zombieland is a pretty good movie with an excellent cast and perhaps the greatest celebrity cameo in movie history. Many folks thought there would be a sequel to the film, but as the years went by, we remained without a sequel. Now that the film’s 10th anniversary is upon us, we’re finally getting that sequel with Zombieland: Double Tap, subtitled for the rule that Jesse Eisenberg’s character has in the first film in which all zombies require two bullets to be officially declared finished.
The cast interaction in the first film was definitely a highlight, with Woody Harrelson going delightfully full redneck as Tallahasee, Eisenberg at his nebbishy best as Columbus, and Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin delivering excellent support as Wichita and Little Rock. Now that their dynamics have been established, the only thing left to do is to bring other survivors into the picture.
Among the new additions to the cast are Lea Thompson’s daughter Zoey Deutch as a blonde ditz, Now Apocalypse‘s Avan Jogia as a weed-smoking Berkley douchebag, and Luke Wilson & Thomas Middleditch playing a variation on Harrelson & Eisenberg’s characters. It will no doubt be impossible for them to top the Bill Murray cameo in the first film, but I’m eager to see whom they select to fill those shoes.
Not all summer comedies that feature promising comedic team-ups pay off, just look to films like The Hitman’s Bodyguard or R.I.P.D. or really any non-Deadpool Ryan Reynolds movie for proof of this concept. However, there’s something about the promise of seeing Kumail Nanjiani and Dave Bautista together in the upcoming comedy Stuber that’s quite promising. For whatever reason, they remind me of Alan Arkin and Peter Falk in The In-Laws, where they trade off being the straight man.
A more contemporary film that this appears to be a “better” version of is Ride Along, where a hardened cop teams up with a terrified novice and hijinks ensue. Both Nanjiani and Bautista have proven themselves adept at doing this sort of thing and I feel that so long as we haven’t seen all of the best gags in the trailer, this could be a sleeper hit.
Of course, there’s no guarantee this could be any good at all. It could be that all of the funniest jokes are in the trailer or that the movie has a premise that might not be able to sustain a feature and would’ve been better off as a short film. Honestly though, it beats sitting through another sequel or reboot or remake or other typical summer movie.
Stuber opens on July 12.
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I have yet to hear the cries of outrage over the new comedy The Hustle being an all-female remake of the classic 80s comedy Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Is it because they changed the title and no one knows about it? Is it because no one loves the original all that much? Maybe it’s because Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is itself a remake and this sort of thing happens constantly in Hollywood? Or, could it be because, as a society, we’ve become enlightened enough to stop getting up in arms every time Hollywood decides to remake a movie and gender swap the casting?
I’ll give you a moment to catch your breath after laughing at that last one. The Hustle finds Anne Hathaway stepping into the Michael Caine role as the more seasoned con artist on the prowl in the French Riviera, while Rebel Wilson takes the Steve Martin role of the low rent swindler looking to move into the big time. They launch a competition with the winner getting to stay and the loser leaving town forever. The other twist here is that the two are seeking revenge on a number of men who have wronged them and not competing for the affections of a rich woman as Caine and Martin were—as well as David Niven and Marlon Brando in the original original Bedtime Stories.
This trailer shows that the film is clearly targeting female audiences with its Mother’s Day weekend release. “Let the boys go see the Revengers and we’ll see the movie with the ladies,” some mom seems to say. Go get ’em gals, because The Hustle begins on May 10.
Just when you think you might have seen it all, along comes a movie built around a pun staring us all in the face. In the grand tradition of Snakes on a Plane and Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, the new flick The VelociPastor is offering up exactly what the title promises. A priest is grief stricken over the death of his parents, travels to China, something something something, now he’s a dinosaur.
But that’s not where VelociPastor hangs its hat. It’s not enough that he turns into a dinosaur, he must be convinced by a hooker—with a presumable heart of gold—to fight crime. And ninjas. Not kidding, it’s all there in the trailer. While obviously a low budget affair, I love this trailer’s whole aesthetic. They’re clearly going for a nouveau grindhouse feel similar to the hugely underrated Hobo with a Shotgun.
This flick may also well have the greatest tagline in history… “Welcome to the Christ-aceous period.” I mean, just when you think the pun in the title is the ace up its sleeve, this movie turns around and kicks you square in the nuts. So far the flick has only screened at festivals in The Netherlands and France, further proof that Europeans are far more cultured than we.
Keep your eyes peeled for The VelociPastor to show up somewhere stateside at some point.
Besides a handful of episodes of Parks & Recreation and a failed TV pilot titled Dumb Prince, Amy Poehler hasn’t done much directing in her career. That’s about to change in a big way as she steps behind the camera—and travels back in front of it—for the new Netflix original comedy film Wine Country.
Poehler’s bringing along a bunch of her friends from SNL including Tina Fey, Maya Rudolph, Ana Gasteyer, and Rachel Dratch for a story about a group of old friends reuniting for their friend’s 50th birthday. Needless to say nothing goes as planned, but this looks a bit more on the serious side than one might expect from all the funny ladies involved. And Jason Schwartzman.
Of course, there’s that worry in the back of your mind that Fey and Poehler have yet to make a funny movie together—both Baby Mama and Sisters were horrendously unfunny considering the level of talent on display—but with all of these talented ladies on board, and Jason Schwartzman, I think this has got a better than average chance at success. Plus it’s on Netflix, so if it sucks, you can just stop watching it.
Wine Country debuts on the streaming platform on Friday May 10.
Two performers who have really come into their own as actors over the last few years are Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick) and Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy), but they don’t feel like a very natural comedy team. That’s exactly what the new film Stuber aims to convince you of, that they are, in fact, made for one another. Nanjiani plays Stu, an Über driver pulled into a world he’s thoroughly unfamiliar with when he picks up Bautista’s Vic, a cop chasing down a murderer.
The film comes to us from Canadian director Michael Dowse, the man behind the hugely underrated 2011 hockey flick Goon, which gives me a modicum of confidence that this will be more than just the Dopinder/Deadpool sections of the Deadpool films, or even Collateral with some laughs thrown in. It’s not the most original premise, obviously, but it will most assuredly benefit from these two winning actors.
You might also spot Bautista’s GotG co-star Karen Gillan, along with GLOW‘s Betty Gilpin and Oscar winner Mira Sorvino, who is apparently allowed to be in movies again. Hopefully this will provide some big laughs this summer as we sure as hell don’t need another lackluster summer comedy starring a mismatched pair—I’m looking at you The Hitman’s Bodyguard.
Stuber cruises into theaters on July 12.
One of the most enduring independent filmmakers in American cinema history, Jim Jarmusch has been bringing his unique slant on the world to screens since the early 80s. In all that time he’s never worked with a budget of more than $10 million, and as a result, he’s never really had to compromise his vision for anyone or anything.
Actors will line up to work for scale just to work with him, which explains why there are so many recognizable faces in his latest film, The Dead Don’t Die. I never knew that I needed Jarmusch’s take on the zombie film, though I suppose I never knew that I needed his take on samurai or vampire movies until I saw Ghost Dog and Only Lovers Left Alive.
Jarmusch regulars Adam Driver and Bill Murray co-star as cops in a town where a zombie outbreak is occurring and they have to take down the armies of undead with the help of some locals including Steve Buscemi, Chloë Sevigny, Danny Glover, Caleb Landry Jones (whom I embarrassingly thought was Joan Cusack at first glance), Rosie Perez, Iggy Pop, Carol Kane, RZA, Selena Gomez, Tom Waits, and a sword-wielding Tilda Swinton.
Yeah, there’s no way I’m not there opening night for this one, which is currently scheduled for Friday June 14.
As someone who has repeatedly been told he looks like Seth Rogen, I can safely say that no matter how close I got to a woman that looked like Charlize Theron, I would have absolutely no shot with her. My night with Charlize would probably be a lot like Patton Oswalt’s night with her in Young Adult where she basically disavows the entire thing the next morning.
However, the movies are a magical place that can make you believe a man can fly, a rat can cook a gourmet meal, and Seth Rogen has any shot whatsoever with Charlize Theron. In Long Shot, Rogen plays a down on his luck journalist—is there any other kind these days?—who lands a job working for his former babysitter, Theron, the current Secretary of State who is about to launch a presidential campaign.
The sheer number of issues I already have with this movie and I’ve only seen two minutes of it. This resides in that same pocket with that PTL movie I have to see a trailer for every time I go to the god damned movies where Chrissy Metz is married to Josh Lucas. Come the fuck on. I would say it might be a case of maybe she didn’t lose the baby weight, but their kid is clearly adopted. This trend needs to stop.
Long Shot opens May 3, the weekend after Avengers: Endgame, so you might say it’s something of an underdog that weekend.
High School Mayhem Abounds in Red Band Trailer for Olivia Wilde’s Directorial Debut ‘Booksmart’ (VIDEO)
Ever since they started allowing women to direct movies a few years ago, many actresses have taken the plunge into directing, the latest being Olivia Wilde. Ms. Wilde’s feature directorial debut, Booksmart, seems to live up to her last name, featuring two scholarly teens who decide to finally cut loose in the final days of high school.
No, that’s not Jonah Hill in a wig, as I thought when I first saw Beanie Feldstein in Lady Bird, it’s his sister. That looks just like him. She’s joined by Last Man Standing‘s Kaitlyn Dever in the lead roles of the aforementioned teens ready to cut loose. If anything at all, the flick resembles Hill’s own breakout film Superbad, which is all the stranger considering his doppelgänger stars in it.
There are some legitimate laughs here, including Jason Sudeikis playing an asshole principal, and Lisa Kudrow and Will Forte as Dever’s super understanding parents who are downright beside themselves to have a lesbian for a daughter. If this catches on like Superbad, don’t be surprised if there’s like a hundred more movies just like this over the next four years.
Booksmart opens in theaters across North America on May 24, the same day as that god awful looking live-action Aladdin directed by Guy Ritichie.
The “foul mouthed pre-teen” genre more or less went away with the 80s, a time when kids swearing and getting up to no good on film happened on the regular. Leave it to Seth Rogen and his friend and writing/producing partner Evan Goldberg (Superbad, Sausage Party) to bring back that glorious time with their new film Good Boys.
Directed by The Office veteran Gene Stupnitsky, making his feature directorial debut, the film follows the exploits of middle schoolers Max (Room‘s Jacob Tremblay) and his two buddies played by Brady Noon (Boardwalk Empire) and Keith L. Williams (The Last Man on Earth) as they ditch school for the day. Along the way they get in to all manner of R-rated shenanigans that are, as we’re reminded in the trailer’s cold open, for adults only.
Essentially, if you’re looking for Superbad but with middle schoolers, this is the movie for you. It’s hard to say if it’ll actually be successful in pulling off the risky gambit of having pre-teens swear a lot, but it seems Rogen is the guy to do it well. We’ve got a bit of a wait before we’ll be able to tell if it’s any good as Good Boys opens in North America on August 16.
Uh oh, guys, I don’t know what’s going on but I legitimately laughed out loud twice during this new extended sneak peek at April’s Shazam! While Aquaman was dumber than a bag of hammers, it was a lot of fun and I enjoyed watching it, meaning that DC might actually go two for two for the first time since Batman and Batman Returns.
Not only do we get Zachary Levi’s super-powered pre-teen trying to buy beer and meeting with a real estate agent about a secret lair—my two laughs—we also get our first look at Mark Strong as the villainous Dr. Sivana, as well as a pretty incredible looking rooftop transformation for the title character. Director David F. Sandberg’s last two films, Lights Out and Annabelle: Creation, were better than they had any right to be, so it’s not totally surprising that this film might actually work.
Leaning into the inherent comedy in such a premise is the right move, and I’m glad they went for it from minute one. In other words, unlike Justice League, this doesn’t feel like a film at war with itself in an attempt to land some cheap laughs. If this sneak peek is any indication, there will be legitimate laughs aplenty in Shazam!
In the world of comedy, few burned as bright for as short a period of time as Bill Hicks. The nihilistic, chain smoking, foul mouthed prophet from Valdosta, Georgia was a god amongst fans of stand-up in the 80s and early 90s, and were heartbroken when pancreatic cancer took him in early 1994, at the age of only 32.
Like Andy Kaufman before him, his legend has only grown since then, particularly considering that his act was more or less adopted by another, ultimately more successful comedian in the wake of Hicks’ death. There have been several documentaries that have chronicled Hicks’ all too short life, including 2011’s excellent American: The Bill Hicks Story, but now he’s getting the full biopic treatment courtesy of one of America’s greatest filmmakers.
According to Variety, Richard Linklater (Dazed & Confused, Boyhood) will write and direct a film about Hicks for Focus Features. Normally I’d say, expect the standard biopic treatment, but if you’ve seen Linklater’s last biopic, Bernie, you’ll know that he never really does things in the obvious way. I wouldn’t be surprised to find him using contemporaries of Hicks’ in the comedy world to tell stories about him, similar to the way he used the townsfolk in Bernie.
Either way, this feels like a perfect match between director and subject, and I can’t wait for Hicks to finally get his due on the big screen. Now the question becomes, who do they cast? Chandler Riggs is from Atlanta and has the accent for it. He’s one possibility. Who do you guys want to see play Bill Hicks in the movie? Sound off in the comments section below.
Enjoy a classic Hicks set from Letterman, which was shot in 1993 but not aired until 2009
If you’ve never read Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s brilliantly hilarious novel Good Omens, you’re cheating yourself out of one of the great satires of religion in all of literature. If you’re the type that hates to read, however, Amazon Prime comes to the rescue with this live action adaptation of the book coming to the streaming platform next year.
Michael Sheen and David Tennant (channeling Bill Nighy*) star as Aziraphale, an anal retentive angel, and Crowley, a demon with a wicked sense of humor, and the two old “friends” must form an unholy alliance to prevent the end times from happening. The story has a malicious twist to it that I won’t spoil here, especially considering that the trailer doesn’t give it away.
Any fans of the book apprehensive about this adaptation will be pleased to know that Neil Gaiman wrote the adaptation himself, with the posthumous blessing of Pratchett—and will be serving as the showrunner for the series. There’s no word on whether they will fit the entire book into one season of television, or drag it out until the actual apocalypse is upon us, though I’m sure most of us would prefer the former to the latter.
Good Omens comes to Amazon Prime in the first half of 2019.
*Had they cast Nighy, the tagline of the show could’ve been The End is Nighy
Though their last film—2016’s Hail Caesar—wasn’t exactly another home run, The Coen Brothers always manage to draw interest to their films thanks to their uniqueness. The Brothers now embark on their first film for Netflix with The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, set to debut on the streaming platform in November.
Originally envisioned as a six-part miniseries, the material has been condensed into a single film following the character of Buster Scruggs (O Brother‘s Tim Blake Nelson) as he interacts with a number of supremely strange characters in their latest Western. It’s funny that my biggest gripe with Hail Caesar is that it felt like it should have been expanded into a much longer miniseries type thing as every storyline got short shrift in a two hour movie.
I can’t imagine this film, which actually began life as a miniseries, is going to overcome that same issue. However, if anyone can make it work, it’s The Coen Brothers. Check out the synopses for each segment of the film below, and tune in when The Ballad of Buster Scruggs debuts on Netflix and in select theaters on November 16.
“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”
Tim Blake Nelson (Buster Scruggs)
Willie Watson (The Kid)
This first segment finds Tim Blake Nelson playing a sharp-shooting songster.
James Franco (Cowboy)
James Franco’s wannabe bank robber gets his due and then some. And just a little bit more for good measure.
Liam Neeson (Impresario)
Harry Melling (Artist)
Lugubrious dark humour pervades the Liam Neeson starrer Meal Ticket, a gothic tale about two weary travelling performers.
“All Gold Canyon”
Tom Waits (Prospector)
Tom Waits mines a rich seam of humour.
“The Gal Who Got Rattled”
Bill Heck (Billy Knapp)
Zoe Kazan (Alice Longabaugh)
Grainger Hines (Mr. Arthur)
Zoe Kazan finds an unexpected promise of love, along with a dose of life’s cruel irony, on a wagon train across the prairies.
“The Mortal Remains”
Brendan Gleeson (Irishman)
Tyne Daly (Lady)
Jonjo O’Neill (Englishman)
Saul Rubinek (Frenchman)
Chelcie Ross (Trapper)
Ghostly laughs haunt this segment as Tyne Daly rains judgment upon a motley crew of strangers undertaking a final carriage ride.
Indie studio A24 has put out some of the best, most original films of the last few years like Ex Machina, Good Time, Moonlight, Under the Skin, The Lobster, and many more. Their horror output has been equally buzz-worthy as they’ve been the home of The Witch, Hereditary, It Comes at Night, and now the upcoming horror comedy Slice.
This flick seems to put more emphasis on the comedy than the horror, however, at least by the looks of this first trailer. First time feature director Austin Vesely has helmed several of Chance the Rapper’s videos, so it makes sense that this would mark the first jump to the big screen for both men. Also along for the ride are Paul Scheer, Hannibal Buress, Deadpool 2‘s Zazie Beetz, and Stranger Things‘ Joe Keery—aka Jean Ralphio, Jr.
Two years ago, Vesely talked about the film with Pigeons and Planes, saying the following…
“People ask me often if the film is really scary. I hope it has its moments but it’s more of a comedy for me. Tonally, I was really inspired by Twin Peaks, if that says anything,” Vesely says. “I studied Paul Thomas Anderson’s movies to figure out how to balance multiple narratives. TV shows as well, like Twin Peaks, to discover how to establish a sense of place. I guess this movie is like Magnolia with ghosts. Just kidding. Kind of.”
Hopefully that gives you some sense of what this will be like. If it’s anything like the first trailer, I’m sold. Look for Slice in theaters later this year.
This September, Showtime’s Shameless returns for its ninth season which will find the Gallagher family of Chicago reaching the 100 episode milestone all shows strive to achieve. That’s no small feat, either, considering that the UK series on which the show is based only ran for two years.
Shameless has set itself apart from the pack by endearing us to a rather rough and tumble multicultural family that hasn’t had much representation on screen before. The show has always been a beacon of progressivism without being, well, shameless about it. There are gay characters, characters in polyamorous relationships, mixed race couples, and none of it has ever been a big deal. Even better, none of them are safe from the show’s decidedly un-PC sense of humor, either.
While there’s no word on whether William H. Macy, Emmy Rossum, and the rest of the cast will be back for a tenth season, it’s definitely going to be great having the Gallaghers back on the boob tube. In fact, you might even say the best thing about Shameless is that it keeps the word boob in boob tube, which is no small feat, and nothing to scoff at. Shameless returns to Showtime for season 9 on 9/9.
Ever since Christopher Nolan established a dark, gritty, realistic setting for the superhero movie, DC has had a nearly impossible time shaking that formula. However, thanks to the baby steps of Wonder Woman and the upcoming Aquaman, it appears as if the studio is ready to move into full-fledged comedy territory with next Spring’s Shazam!
Lights Out and Annabelle Creation director David F. Sandberg steps behind the camera to bring the story of Captain Marvel, er, sorry, Shazam! to life. You see in the comics, the character’s name is Captain Marvel, and “Shazam!” is merely the phrase young Billy Batson must utter to assume his superhero identity. Unfortunately, DC doesn’t own the rights to the name Captain Marvel anymore, so they’re apparently just calling the character Shazam now. Whatever, such is the world we live in.
Thankfully this trailer shows that the filmmakers see the inherent ridiculousness in the premise of a pre-teen being gifted with super powers, and plays it for all it’s worth. If I’m being honest, this looks like it could potentially be the best film that DC has produced in the post-Nolan era.
Chuck‘s Zachary Levi steps into the title role, and he seems to be nailing the notion that he’s a twelve-year-old boy trapped in a muscle man’s body. It’s also nice to see Mark Strong getting a DC do-over—following his turn as Sinestro in 2011’s Green Lantern—this time as the villainous Doctor Sivana.
I truly and sincerely hope this film lives up to the hype that’s going to ensue after this bang-up first trailer. So long as they don’t get in their own way and attempt to rework the film several weeks before it’s due in theaters—like they did with Suicide Squad and Justice League—they might actually have something here.
Shazam! is set to hit theaters on April 5, 2019, less than a month after Captain Marvel. I hope there’s no confusion amongst you comic book purists out there.
Female-driven comedies are all the rage now during the summer as studios have finally caught on to the notion that, gasp, women go to the movies too! Hot on the heels of the all-star antics of Ocean’s 8 comes The Spy Who Dumped Me, a new comedy from writer/director Susanna Fogel, who made the criminally underrated comedy Life Partners.
Mila Kunis stars as a woman who discovers that her ex-boyfriend (Justin Theroux) is actually a James Bond-esque secret agent, and winds up mixed up in a bunch of international intrigue alongside her best friend Kate McKinnon. It’s a pretty decent premise, and both Kunis and McKinnon have proven themselves adept with high concept comedies in the past, so there’s the possibility this could be an enjoyable summer popcorn flick.
Part of me almost wishes that Theroux were reprising his character from The Last Jedi, and they just went ahead and set this thing in the Star Wars universe. That would be a hoot, though it wouldn’t do anything to assuage the claims that Star Wars has an agenda beyond telling rip-roaring space yarns. Check out two more TV spots for the film below to prep for The Spy Who Dumped Me‘s release on August 3.
While he’s done a lot of garbage in his career, no one turns into a skid quite like Jason Statham. Whenever he’s involved in a film with a ridiculous premise, he rises above the material in a way that rivals only an in-his-prime Bruce Willis, and his latest flick, The Meg, looks like another solid outing from the follically challenged Brit.
Granted they’re probably not going to go to Crank levels of absurdity with this one—i.e. he probably won’t punch the mega-shark to death—but I’m more than willing to bet that this will be a film with a decent sense of humor about itself. Kind of like Piranha 3D, another late summer aquatic horror comedy from a few summers back.
On top of all of that, this flick comes to us from director Jon Turteltaub, the man behind the National Treasure movies, which are among the cheesiest and most fun adventure movies of the early aughts. Fingers crossed that this is more of the same, and if it is, don’t be surprised if it finds a sizable audience during the dog days of summer. If only we could’ve gotten Nic Cage involved as well.
The Meg opens in theaters nationwide on August 10.
If Adult Swim nailed the random ass comedy formula in the early aughts with their 11-minute cartoons, Yacht Rock pared it down to five minutes—with two exceptions—and created a legacy of comedy gold you can watch, in its entirety, in just over an hour.
Originally created for Dan Harmon’s old Channel 101, was this irreverently sardonic series of films that celebrated the smooth music wave that crested in the late 70s and early 80s, officially dubbing it Yacht Rock. Focused mostly on the countless collaborations between Michael McDonald (J.D. Ryznar) and Kenny Loggins (Hunter Stair), the show gave us ridiculously embellished creation myths behind defining songs of the movement like The Doobie Brothers’ “What a Fool Believes,” Loggins’ “This is It,” Toto’s “Rosanna,” and even Michael Jackson’s smoothest song, “Human Nature.”
The whole show gets a veneer of respectability thanks to bookend segments on every episode from music critic and historian “Hollywood” Steve Huey, who has a journey of his own over the course of the series. Huey goes from bemused narrator in the first two episodes to full-on homeless woman murderer by episode five. It’s a thoroughly satisfying bit of absurdist comedy that somehow never loses steam.
Huey guides the viewer through several stages of Yacht Rock like the day it lost its innocence in a back alley songwriting contest that pits Loggins & McDonald against Daryl Hall (Wade Randolph) and a raging, alpha male take on John Oates (Drew Hancock)…
As the series went on, it began expanding the world a bit, setting the stage for other acts like Steely Dan, Toto, Steve Perry (Abed Gheith), Michael Jackson (DeMorge Brown), Eddie Van Halen (Tyler Spiers), and even Vincent Price (James Adomian) to show up for a seance in episode five…
Episode six takes a hard turn into a weird, Jethro Tull story that doesn’t make much sense to me, but some people love it…
By episode seven, they regrouped and jumped forward in time to show Michael McDonald’s reaction to Warren G (Mehran Heard) and Nate Dogg (Anthony Stitt) sampling his song “I Keep Forgettin‘” in their smash hit “Regulate.”
Hall & Oates are back for the next episode—which also brings back fictional Yacht Rock pioneer Koko Goldstein (David B. Lyons)—though the episode plays as something of a bizarre origin story for evil record producer Gene Balboa (Dan Sachoff)…
The show was now something of a phenomenon, leading to bigger guest stars like “Cleveland” Drew Carey in episode 9…
Though it meets with its first ending in the very next episode, a curious diversion about a perceived fued between Steeley Dan’s Donald Fagen (Myke Chilian) and Walt Becker (Todd Bishop), and Eagles members Don Henley (John Kyle Grady) and Glenn Frey (Ford Austin)…
The creation of a weekly five minute short had left the creators feeling exhausted, but after a hiatus, two more episodes were launched that are as star-studded as the series gets. Episode 11 concerns the creation of the theme song for Footloose, but is really just a takedown of Jimmy Buffet (Vatche Panos) and his fan base, featuring cameos by Wyatt Cenac as James Ingraham and Jason Lee as Kevin Bacon…
The official final episode of the show, Episode 12, starts with Dan Aykroyd (Kyle Reiter) stealing McDonald’s invitation to “We Are the World” and culminates in a space battle involving McDonald, Loggins, Giorgio Moroder (John S. Konesky), and McDonald’s hit song “Sweet Freedom” from the Running Scared soundtrack. Keep your eyes peeled for lots of fan favorites returning for the “We Are the World” segment…
There’s honestly so much goodness packed into every episode, I couldn’t list everything great about them if I tried. If you enjoyed this, the four main guys—Ryznar, Stair, Lyons, and Huey—host a podcast called Beyond Yacht Rock where they invent musical genres and countdown the best songs in that genre. They also rank songs from the Yacht Rock era on what they’ve dubbed “The Yachtski Scale.” It’s a pretty great time.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the world of Yacht Rock and that you’re now a fan for life. Sound off with some of your favorite quotes in the comments section below like, “Get your dick out of your heart,” or “You’re a fuckin’ loser, Cetera,” something I regularly say when one of his songs pops up in my life.
2014’s The LEGO Movie was not only a surprise smash hit, it was also one of the most innovative, off-kilter, and hilarious animated movies in years. It’s gonna be a tough act to follow, no matter the sequel’s concept, but I have to give the filmmakers of The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part credit for this much… they’re not just doing the first movie over again.
Sequels have become more and more episodic, high on character, low on concept of any sort. Sequels are no longer places to try something new, so I have to give the team behind this flick a slight bow of respect. I enjoyed The LEGO Batman Movie, but nowhere near as much as The LEGO Movie, and The LEGO Ninjago Movie… even less so.
Still, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt here and assume that they’re going to push the story forward rather than just give us another ninety minutes to hang out with these characters. I do love that their main antagonist appears to be a minidoll—a controversial subset of minifigures that appear almost exclusively in sets aimed at girls. It’s a nice bit of catering to the fans.
The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part hits theaters on February 8, 2019, and will hopefully have a nice, long run throughout the month the same way the first film did.
One of last year’s funniest films, Girls Trip introduced many of us to Tiffany Haddish, who is re-teaming with that film’s director for the upcoming Kevin Hart vehicle Night School. It’s not the most original premise for a film, and its six credited writers lead me to believe this one’s going to be something of a mess, but don’t discount the winning combination of Hart and Haddish.
Hart decides he wants his GED and so he enrolls in night classes taught by Haddish and also attended by a wackadoodle group of character actors including Rob Riggle, Romany Malco, and Mary Lynn Rajskub. Former SNL’er Taran Killam is also on hand, as is Jean-Ralphio from Parks & Rec.
I suppose that even with a mediocre script, that seems to be a group of people who could make just about anything funny. Let’s hope they manage to squeeze some laughs in between the hackneyed set-pieces like a boxing match and a late-night theft.
At the same time, Hart is coming off the biggest film of his career—and arguably his best performance—in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, so he’s probably got enough juice to get above average productions going, rather than just settling for pat formulaic films like Ride Along. Night School opens September 28.
The world of telemarketing requires a great number of skills, but the most important among them—according to the new comedy Sorry to Bother You, anyway—is how white you sound. Lakeith Stanfield (Get Out) plays a guy with a really good white guy voice—so good, in fact, it actually belongs to David Cross (Arrested Development)—who quickly rises through the ranks at his company.
The film marks the writing and directing debut of musician Boots Riley, who partnered with several producers for the film, including Forest Whitaker. The film also has a stacked supporting cast including Tessa Thompson (Thor: Ragnarok), Danny Glover (Gone Fishin’), Terry Crews (Deadpool 2), Armie Hammer (Call Me By Your Name), and the voices of Cross, Steve Buscemi (The Death of Stalin), and Patton Oswalt (Ratatouille), three of the whitest sounding men alive, apparently.
It looks like a pretty damn funny flick, and with a cast that good, it seems to hard to pass up. Comedy has always been a great way for us to deal with social issues, and this feels like it’s got plenty of both. Sorry to Bother You hits theaters on July 6, the same day as Ant-Man and the Wasp, so choose carefully, I guess.
roll the dice posted a photo:
Round The Corner...And Opposite St. Saviour's `1856`!..
"Girls" star and creator Lena Dunham penned a letter of support for singer Kesha, who has been battling against Dr. Luke to release her from her recording contract.
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